Another month of good news on the housing-starts front. New permits for February were up 33.8 percent year-on-year, and new starts (a noisier data series that I like less) were up 27.7 percent year-on-year. Permits continue to exceed starts, seeming to offer indication of momentum built into the system. More than a third of the newly permitted units are in multifamily structures, which is consistent with the new shape of housing finance in the United States. The country still ought to do a lot more to expand the range of terrain on which it is legal to build multifamily structures. As people continue to yammer about tax rates and "uncertainty," I think this continues to be the No. 1 supply-side issue that would have a meaningful impact on the short-term economic outlook.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Right to Run
If you can vote, you should be able to run for public office—any office.
Move Aside, Oxford Comma, the New Battle Is Over Single or Double Quotes
Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
Ben Bradlee’s Fascinating Relationship With JFK
The Simpsons World App Is Finally Here
I feel like a kid in some kind of store.
Driving in Circles
The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.